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IK Multimedia’s iRig PRO review

Sections: iDevice Accessories, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch, Macintosh/Apple Hardware, Peripherals, Reviews

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IK Multimedia already has a great line of audio adapters to make plugging your guitar into your iOS device super easy, but they’ve really outdone themselves with the iRig Pro. It’s an all-in-one accessory that can digitally connect your guitar, bass, microphone, or MIDI device digitally to your iPhone, iPad or Mac. It’s basically the best of all of IK Multimedia’s digital adapters combined into one small device.

iRigPRO_01

Similar to the iRig HD, the iRig PRO is a digital audio interface for iPhone, iPad and Mac that can connect over USB, 30 pin, or Lightning connectors. Unlike the iRig HD, it can handle more than just 1/4 inch input. It’s outfitted with a Neutrik combo input connector, which is a fancy way of saying it’ll accept 1/4 inch or XLR (microphone) connectors. Plus, it can accept a MIDI input at the same time! That means you can use a programmable MIDI controller to send patch changes to an audio app, like AmpliTube, to switch your presets while you’re playing. Excited yet?

Rig PRO comp combo_04The device itself is extremely portable, especially when you consider its capabilities. It’s about twice the size of the iRig HD, which is still very small. On the top is the mini DIN connection that accepts a cable that connects to your iOS device (or Mac). Inside the box there are three of these cables with 30 pin iPod, USB, and Lightning connectors. Also included is a proprietary MIDI cable with a headphone-like connector that plugs into the side of the iRig HD. On the bottom is the Neutrik connector that can accept either a 1/4 inch or XLR connector. On the right side, there’s a switch that controls the phantom power that may be required for a studio condenser microphone. This is powered by a 9V battery, which is also included. And finally, the front of the device has a gain knob and a couple of LEDs that indicate power status, MIDI data, and Audio levels.

In testing, the iRig PRO delivers the same great performance you’ve come to expect from IK Multimedia gear. Just like the iRig HD, you don’t have to worry about static or other noise issues with this digital interface. Apple says that the technology is at its best when you forget it’s even there, and I totally did when playing my guitar through the iRig PRO. It does such a good job of converting your instrument to a digital signal that you’ll forget that other adapters sometimes introduce noise (especially analog convertors). There’s really no reason to worry about anything here; your audio is safe with iRig PRO.

iRigPRO_05_jack_midiBut what’s so great about the iRig PRO is its versatility. Not only can it be your guitar adapter, but it can also be your microphone input, electronic drum set input, MIDI keyboard input and more. It might just be the only adapter you need.

As much as I like the iRig PRO, there’s nearly always room for improvement. Similar to the iRig HD, it would really be nice to have an audio output directly on the device so that it could function like a stomp box in your audio chain. You can remedy this with the audio output of your iOS device, but it’d just be nice to have it on the iRig PRO. Also, the gain knob feels a little flimsy. Not like it’s going to break, but more like it just isn’t robust. Neither of these issues are showstoppers, nor are they reasons to downgrade the iRig PRO.

The iRig PRO really could be the only digital audio adapter you need. It pulls triple duty by accepting 1/4 inch, XLR, and MIDI connections. Not only can it accept XLR connections, it will provide phantom power for a studio condenser microphone you might have. It can also connect to your Mac or iOS devices with one of three connectors, including Apple’s latest Lightning connection. As if the hardware wasn’t impressive enough on its own, it unlocks models, effects and more (including MIDI capabilities) in various IK Multimedia apps like AmpliTube, VocaLive, and SampleTank. It even comes with AmpliTube Metal with Custom Shop for Mac.

The iRig PRO is a fantastic accessory with an impressive feature set that stands up to testing. It’ll do its job without getting in the way, which is really what an audio adapter should do.

Appletell Rating:

Buy the iRig Pro

Provides: iOS adapter for guitar and microphone input.
Developer: IK Multimedia
Minimum Requirements:
Price: $149.99
Availability: Now

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  1. Pingback: How do I connect my guitar, keyboard and microphone to iOS or Mac? | Starr Ackerman's Music Production Blog